WHY DO WE CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S DAY?

The first reason it is important to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to mark a special day to tell people around us that we love them and care for them, even if we are not currently in an intimate relationship.

In the world of my clients, I have found that there are two kinds of responses to Valentine’s Day. The responses are I imagine more based on personality style—there are the romantics and the pragmatists. There are those persons who are romantics and love showering their loved ones with gifts. Then there are those pragmatists who think that the whole day is really a rather ridiculous because you can tell your loved ones everyday that they are loved and you don’t need Hallmark to tell you that.

In fact, the relationship gurus who write their blogs and advice columns reminded us again this year to give simple gifts to their partners, spouses, and boyfriends/girlfriends on Valentine’s Day. For instance, Lee Baucom, Ph.D. on his site entitled, “Save the Marriage,” (www.savethemarriage.com) wrote on Valentine’s Day itself to

“mark the day with a simple card and perhaps a very simple gift.”
— Lee Baucom, Ph.D - http://savethemarriage.com

He essentially said it’s a way of communicating about the love you either have had (if things are rocky) or presently have (if things are good). Such a gift, whether it is a note or a small token such as flowers or candy, is a way of communicating your feelings for this special person in your life.

The second reason it is important to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to remember that it is the commemoration of a real Saint in the Western Church who was said to be buried on February 14th.

There are several myths surrounding Saint Valentine and there are several legends of Saint Valentines that may have merged into one. Perhaps the most significant story is of Saint Valentine who was a bishop in Rome during the late third century. During the reign of the Emperor Claudius there was a shortage in the Roman army of men. In order for men to be conscripted into military service, Claudius outlawed marriage for a time in Roman territories. Apparently men were reluctant to serve because they wished to stay home with their lovers and avoid long years and years of separation. However Bishop Valentine secretly married many couples in Rome, in direct defiance of Claudius. After valentine was arrested and imprisoned he wrote encouraging notes to the couples that he had married. His notes became the fist valentines. Bishop Valentine was martyred in 270 AD and eventuated was canonized as a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

Now you have it, the reason we celebrate Valentine’s Day is to declare our affection and love for those around us who we care about. This is true whether you have a solid romantic relationship, a shaky romantic relationship, or no relationship at all.